geico wrote:The employees get to ride for free as part of the benefit packages, as do their family. They shouldnt complain. The workers working the equipment, yes have to deal with the busted doors, cruddy bathrooms, etc... and can complain.
Why is is wrong for the taxpayer to ask why this is taking so long? Why is it all messed up? I am not demanding anything other than whomever is responsible pay for their mistakes and not have it fall on joe taxpayer to pay for all the extra time for testing the equipment so it is right. Why is it wrong for the taxpayer to ask how the LIRR messed up and didnt design the cars with enough room for PTC in 2015 when it was already mandated. Why is it wrong that there have been 100s of change orders from the LIRR because they didnt follow an FRA spec for crash protection.
Why is it wrong for the taxpayer not to expect Kawasaki to pay for the all the extra testing time and manpower needed to get the cars running right?
No one wants bad or unsafe equipment. The taxpayers should expect that it be delivered close to on time and on budget from the LIRR and its contractors. The first 92 cars are $50 million over the original budget and at least 18 months late at this point.
Please allow me to respectfully answer some of your concerns.
PTC Space: At the time the request for proposals went out, PTC was completely an unknown. There was no developed technology, no proven contractors (some say still), and only a Federal mandate to put it in. No one knew how much onboard space would have been needed, only an estimate. The estimate was wrong, and the change order was at cost to LIRR
Crashworthyness: The FRA crashworthyness standards were changed after the bid was awarded. After a collision at Metro North tore open the B-end of one of the M8s. Prior to M9, no collision posts were required on the B-end of married pair MU equipment, thinking they'd never be head end to hit something. That accident gave the FRA a new perspective, one which they made an IMMEDIATE change to the regs, to all not yet built equipment. (M9) Usually these changes have an inservice or ordered by provision, but the FRA left out the ordered by provision because they didnt want another generation (40 years) of EMUs rolling around without it. This cost was fully born by LIRR, and also delayed the design.
The derailment of the pilot cars set back delivery & testing for obvious reasons, this cost was NOT LIRR.
Change orders are expensive, and believe it or not, they've been kept to a minimum. You want the cars without delay, that's fine, be annoyed even. Passenger cars are odd machines and almost always do not go into service without hitches. They're not like freight cars that are mass produced to standard (mainly) specifications. Passengers have needs, demands and desires. One region differs from another, and each railroad has their own differences. These take time, and for whatever reason don't always work as planned. Look at the Septa Silverliner V, all the truck frames had to be recast!
Don't wish the M3s away, wish they were better maintained! Taxpayers would cry when they see the price tag on the high tech fleet equipment repairs and obsolescence upgrades. M3 parts are cheap!